Boskalis’ most important strategic objective is the creation of long-term sustainable profitability. Our company has grown strongly in the past few years, both organically and through acquisitions. Under increasingly complex circumstances we are asked as a partner to ‘push back boundaries’ for our clients, also in vulnerable areas or in remote locations of the world. However, we are seeing growing interest in CSR among our stakeholders, across the board. Given this there is a demand and a need to set priorities and create focus in our CSR strategy.
Long-term profitability is a fundamental prerequisite for achieving our business objectives and for the continuity of Boskalis. It is a measure of the efficiency of our business and the value that clients attribute to our services. A sound financial basis is essential to meeting our responsibilities. We report on our financial performance in our 2015 Annual Report and refer for more information to the Report of the Board of Management, Financial Statements and Ten-Year Overview.
For an integrated strategic approach aimed at a healthy balance between long-term profit growth and our social responsibility it is important to identify the material topics that are involved. In the CSR domain a materiality analysis is used to gain insight into the relevance and importance of CSR topics for the company on the one hand and the stakeholders on the other.
Assisted by an independent advisor Boskalis carried out its first materiality analysis in 2015. The Global Reporting Initiative sets out a five-stage process to create a materiality matrix. Boskalis followed this process in the establishment of its materiality matrix.
Boskalis’ group management has selected relevant key and sub-topics derived from Boskalis’ strategy, its activities as well as from international guidelines and regulations and legislation. The completeness of the list was checked by means of a peer review against topics relevant for the maritime sector. Next, our most important stakeholder groups were defined – investors and shareholders, employees, clients, suppliers and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) – and a total of 66 stakeholders were selected from across these five stakeholder groups. These stakeholders either have an influence on our license to operate or can be significantly impacted by our activities.
Desk research and interviews were used to determine how important the individual sub-topics are to the stakeholders, with the Boskalis group management following the same process to determine how important the topics are to Boskalis.
The results are displayed graphically in the following materiality matrix, with the y-axis showing the importance that stakeholders attach to the topics and the x-axis showing the importance attached to the topics by Boskalis. Topics displayed in the top right hand of the matrix are considered material by both the stakeholders and Boskalis. These topics are key elements of both the Boskalis CSR strategy and the reporting. We have attached objectives and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to these topics, which are explained in more detail in this report. We aim to review and fine-tune the objectives and KPIs in the coming years.
None of the topics are unimportant to Boskalis; the position in the matrix is only a representation of our understanding of the relative importance of these topics to the business and the stakeholders.
The materiality matrix is by definition a snapshot and as such will be monitored periodically in consultation with our stakeholders and fine-tuned or revised if necessary.
This report considers the following four strategic key topics and associated sub-topics, with our reporting taking account of the importance as shown in the materiality matrix.